Blackburn And Colleagues Introduce Comprehensive Afghanistan Legislation

Photo Credit: Tyffani L. Davis / CC

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

In response to the botched exit from Afghanistan, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn along with Jim Risch (R-Idaho), led 20 colleagues in introducing the Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act.

The legislation was introduced to address the outstanding issues related to the administration’s rushed and disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

Senator Blackburn said, “President Biden‘s erratic decision making caused an entirely avoidable disaster that all but erased 20 years of progress in Afghanistan.”

“The freest nation in the world cannot stay silent while the Taliban inflicts authoritarian rule on the American citizens, allies, and innocent Afghans President Biden abandoned. This legislation will course-correct the Biden administration‘s many failures by implementing counterterrorism, oversight, and accountability measures to challenge the Taliban’s reign of terror,” Blackburn stated.

Joining Blackburn and Risch as original cosponsors are Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.). 

Senator Risch said, “We continue to see the grave implications of the Biden Administration’s haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan. An unknown number of American citizens and Afghan partners remain abandoned in Afghanistan under threat from the Taliban, we face a renewed terror threat against the United States, and the Taliban wrongly seek recognition at the UN, even as they suppress the rights of Afghan women and girls.”

“I’m proud to introduce the Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act today to address these concerns and rebuild the United States’ credibility. I hope the committee will be able to mark it up soon so that we can quickly help those we left behind and protect America’s national security interests before it’s too late,” Risch concluded.

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This legislation:

  • Establishes a State Department task force to focus on the evacuation of American citizens, legal permanent residents, and Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) who are still stuck in Afghanistan.
  • Imposes oversight mechanisms on the processing of SIVs and refugees.
  • Requires strategies for counterterrorism and for the disposition of Taliban-captured U.S. equipment.
  • Sanctions the Taliban and others in Afghanistan for terrorism, drug-trafficking, and human rights abuses.
  • Authorizes sanctions on those providing support to the Taliban, including foreign governments supporting the Taliban.
  • States that the United States should not recognize any member of the Taliban as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States or as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations.
  • Calls for a comprehensive review of foreign assistance to entities that support the Taliban.
  • Places restrictions on non-humanitarian foreign assistance to Afghanistan.

Text of the legislation can be found HERE

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